When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
In The News

Battered Bakhmut, Overwhelmed Aleppo Hospitals, Ottawa’s Ice Shortage

Ukrainian soldiers loading up artillery shells into a truck near Bakhmut as they defend the city against renewed Russian strikes.

Ukrainian soldiers loading up artillery shells into a truck near Bakhmut as they defend the city against renewed Russian strikes.

Ginevra Falciani & Renate Mattar

👋 Kamusta!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russian troops double down in the battle for Bakhmut, hospitals in Syria’s capital city of Aleppo are overwhelmed by victims of the Feb. 6 earthquake, and Canadian ice-skaters are left disappointed. Meanwhile, as debates and protests continue in France over increasing the pension age, business daily Les Echos looks at the reasons why some companies are seeking to recruit senior employees.



This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Ukraine update: Russia battered Ukraine with multiple missile strikes as troops seek to advance to the east. Kyiv said it shot down 16 of 32 Russian missiles. Meanwhile, the BBC was given access to a prisoner-of-war facility housing hundreds of captured Russian soldiers, conscripts, and mercenaries in western Ukraine that are likely to be used in prisoner exchanges. Last November, a UN human rights report documented abuses by both sides, based on interviews with prisoners who spoke of cases of torture and ill-treatment.

• Aleppo hospitals overwhelmed by quake victims: Hospitals in Aleppo do not have enough room for new patients in the wake of last week's devastating earthquake. At the Al-Razi Hospital there are too many beds to fit into the wards, reaching end-to-end through corridors and into the chilly courtyard. More than 4,400 deaths and 7,600 injuries have been reported in north-western Syria since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck neighboring southern Turkey on Feb. 6.

China and Iran call for Iran sanctions to be lifted: China's President Xi Jinping and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, called on Thursday for the lifting of sanctions on Iran as an integral part of the stalled international Iran nuclear agreement. Xi also accepted an invitation from Raisi to visit Iran and would do so at his convenience, the two leaders said in a joint statement on the last day of a three-day state visit to China by Raisi.

• Shooting at El Paso shopping mall: One person died and three more were injured in a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas. Two men have been taken into custody. Police have not commented on possible motives. So far this year, there have been more than 70 mass shootings across the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

• Rail firm pulls out of meeting with residents after Ohio train derailment: Representatives of the Norfolk Southern railway company failed to show up at a public meeting meant to ease fears about a toxic chemical spill in an Ohio town after one of their trains carrying the chemicals derailed 13 days ago causing a huge fire. The railway company cited security concerns as the motive not to attend. Despite assurances from officials, many residents continue to be frightened of the potential damage, saying the spill has impacted humans and wildlife alike.

• Retirees protest in China: Crowds of retirees in China have again taken to the streets to protest against cuts to their medical benefits, putting pressure on President Xi Jinping's administration just weeks before the annual National People's Congress. Protests first took place in Wuhan on Feb. 8 after provincial authorities said they were cutting the level of medical expenses which retirees can claim back from the government. Although such health insurance matters are handled at a provincial level, protests have spread to different parts of the country.

• World’s largest ice rink lacks just one tiny little thing: Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink, is yet to open this year. As Canada experiences one of its warmest winters to date, there just isn’t enough ice in the rink.


Edinburgh-based daily The Scotsman devotes its front page to the surprise announcement of the resignation of Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, after more than eight years in the role. The figurehead of the Scottish independence movement and Scotland’s longest-serving first minister said she would remain in office until her successor was elected. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute to Sturgeon’s “long-standing public service.”


37 million

A new investigation by Clean Up Kenya and investigative NGO Wildlight has just revealed that European countries dump up to 37 million items of plastic clothing in Kenya every year. The pieces of clothing are too dirty and damaged to be reused, and now present a serious pollution and health threat to the region.


Lost in France's retirement age battle: Making space for older workers

As debates and protests continue in France over increasing the pension age, many seniors are already voluntarily returning to work. Some do so to keep busy, but many are forced to by the cost-of-living crisis, reports Sarah Dumeau in French business daily Les Echos.

🧓 France has plans to require companies with more than 300 employees to make public the proportion of seniors in their workforce, with possible financial penalties. But some companies, such as the Elior group that manages the Bercy Lumière restaurant, have already made their numbers public. In 2022, of the 2,500 people they recruited on average on permanent contracts, 18% are over 50 and 30% are over 45. And they are far from being isolated cases.

💼 The first reason given by employers is the lack of labor. "We have great difficulties recruiting drivers for school transport," says Jean-Sébastien Barrault, president of the Fédération Nationale du Transport de Voyageurs (National Federation of Passenger Transport). To fill this gap, these companies massively employ seniors at the end of their careers or retirees.

🧑🍳 The Elior group ensures that older employees are recruited for their experience. "To fill certain gaps, we really need seniors," says Olga Boulay, director of the Bercy Lumière restaurant. The more experienced chefs help the youngest to stay calm, like “Chef David”, 64 years old. He doesn't want to stop, however: “I'm less tired than the young people,” he laughs.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“I'm afraid we're going to see this war going on for another year.”

— In an interview with Euronews, the European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell shared his thoughts on the unprecedented sanctions the bloc has taken over the past year against Russia, as a 10th package of retaliatory measures is being discussed. Borrell admitted that although it “has not always been easy” to maintain political unity among the 27 members of the EU, as the war is likely to continue, “we, Europeans, have to keep doing more of the same thing.”

✍️ Newsletter by Ginevra Falciani, Renate Mattar and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Let us know what’s happening in your corner of the world!


You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest